Jeb! Bush, who sat silent for days after Donald Trump called Mexicans rapists and drug dealers, even after Trump also attacked his wife, finally drew the line when Trump criticized John McCain and said he wasn't a war hero.
At the time, several media outlets pointed out the hypocrisy of his criticism in light of his party's Swift Boat attacks against John Kerry in 2004 when he was running against George W. Bush, even after a letter Jeb! wrote thanking a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for trashing Kerry in their ads surfaced:
In his letter, Bush thanks Day and the “other Swifties” for their “support of my brother in his re-election.” “I simply cannot express in words how much I value their willingness to stand up against John Kerry,” Bush wrote.
As you'll recall, the Swift Boat attacks were just one example of some the most vile attacks in political history. They were also widely proven to be false, and no doubt, along with everyone else, Jeb! knows that.
However, the Bush family never lets facts get in the way of a dirty political maneuver, and Jeb! is no exception. Yesterday, when someone asked him about that letter, he responded by Swift Boating John Kerry all over again:
The former Florida governor was asked by a panel, which was hosted by the Palladian View in Spartanburg, about the Swift Boat attacks against Kerry in light of the recent attack on John McCain by Trump -- who, like Bush -- is running for president.
Bush confirmed he sent the letter to the head of the group, Col. George "Bud" Day, a highly decorated veteran who was McCain's cellmate in Vietnam, and thanked him for his service. Bush added that he's not backing down from what he wrote.
"He won every award possible," Bush said, talking about Day's military record. "He served in three wars and if he says that there was a problem, I believed him. He's a great Floridian and a great American and so I wrote him a note thanking him for his service. Not going to change my beliefs about that at all. "
"I wish Bud Day was here with us," he said.
"If he says that there was a problem, I believed him." Even after all these years when it's well known "that problem" was false, Jeb! still praises the man for attacking John Kerry's war record.
All the pundits have been saying that Donald Trump's being in the race would make the rest of the GOP candidates look sane by comparison. I would say instead, he's highlighting their hypocrisy and policies rather well. Trump says out loud what the GOP believes. And here, by attacking McCain, when Bush finally steps up, he ends up putting his "silver foot in his mouth" all over again. For the Bush family, it's perfectly OK to trash a veteran when that veteran happens to be a Democrat running against one of the family.
Now the question is will the rest of the GOP follow suit and criticize Jeb! Bush for attacking another veteran's war record as they did with Trump, or will they prove once again they're just another hypocritical face in the crowd?
You can see the Jeb! Bush Swift Boating Of John Kerry, The Sequel, here.